Mon, Dec 22, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Pouliot scores as Penguins down Panthers

AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Steve Downie, right, and Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson, left, square off during their NHL game at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Saturday.

Photo: USA Today

Derrick Pouliot scored on his NHL debut and Sidney Crosby ended his drought with a third-period goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins in their 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Pouliot, a prized prospect on defense, scored the eventual game-winner in the first period after he was recalled. Nick Spaling netted his fifth for the Penguins, who won a season-high fifth straight game at home.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 45 shots for his fifth win in six games and 19th overall.

Vincent Trocheck scored his third of the season for the Panthers, who went to overtime in their previous four games.

Crosby scored his 10th goal of the season and his first in nine games. Crosby, who returned after missing three games with mumps, remains among the league leaders in scoring, despite recording just three points in his past seven games.

Crosby redirected a pass from Kris Letang over Roberto Luongo’s pad at 7 minutes, 1 second of the third, giving Pittsburgh a two-goal lead just seconds after the Panthers hit the post while looking for an equalizer.

Pittsburgh scored 1:48 into the game as Luongo had trouble trying to glove Spaling’s fluttering wrist-shot from just below the blue line.

Pouliot netted his first NHL goal soon after. The rookie was wide open, sneaking behind the play from the blue line to the right faceoff dot, when he took a pass from Steve Downie and beat Luongo with an under-the-crossbar wrist-shot.

John Tavares and Anders Lee scored 12 seconds apart in the third period as the New York Islanders stunned the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 with a late comeback.

Shut down nearly all night by first-year goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, the Islanders stormed back in the closing minutes after falling behind 1-0 on Brett Connolly’s goal 9:16 into the third period.

Tavares tied it with 3:09 remaining, scoring from the slot while being knocked to the ice, then Lee put New York in front when he deflected in Travis Hamonic’s shot.

Nikolay Kulemin sealed it with 1:11 left on an empty-net goal, seconds after Tavares left when his head was struck by the puck.

Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves for the win.

Jack Johnson scored the winner in the ninth round of a shootout after Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 39 shots in regulation and eight in the tiebreaker to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Johnson faked a forehand and then jammed in a backhand, before Bobrovsky clinched the win by blocking Bryan Bickell’s low attempt.

Jack Skille and Kevin Connauton scored goals for Columbus. Patrick Sharp and Ben Smith tallied for the Blackhawks, while Corey Crawford made 17 saves.

Kings defenseman Alec Martinez scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period during a power play, while Marian Gaborik also connected with the man advantage for his sixth goal in four games, as Los Angeles beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-2.

Mattias Ekholm scored his first goal of the season 1:45 into overtime, lifting the Nashville Predators to a 6-5 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Defenseman Brent Burns drilled his 10th goal of the season from the middle of the blue line on the power play to lift San Jose to a 3-2 overtime win over the St Louis Blues as the Sharks extended their home winning streak to eight games.

Also on Saturday, the Washington Capitals rolled to a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils, the Colorado Avalanche beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1 and Mats Zuccarrello scored in the shootout to lift the New York Rangers to a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

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